Pop Up Play in Vincent Parks

Published: Tuesday, 21 May 2019 at 1:22:49 PM

A free-play nature space has been created in Woodville Reserve by local kids with additional support from the City of Vincent. This first installment of “Pop Up Play” is part of a new City of Vincent initiative to encourage children and young people to enjoy the outdoors in a variety of creative and unstructured ways. 

“We will be trialling Pop Up Play in some of our parks to inspire children and young people to use these spaces more creatively and freely. The idea is to provide a series of temporary play spaces that bring kids together for unstructured play based on their own ideas and feedback.” said Mayor Emma Cole.

During April, City staff and Mayor Cole met with local North Perth children who had created their own play area in an under used part of Woodville Reserve with found treasures and left over materials supplied to the North Perth Community Garden. The idea was to support what the children had started, to provide the raw materials they wanted and to encourage more children to use the space to play.

Local kids Max (12) and Catherine (11) were enthusiastic about the new play space.

“It gives me lots of freedom to do things I can’t do at other places. I love being able to make cubbies and forts with lots of recycled things we find. It is where we can be creative and have fun at the same time,” said Max.

“We have so much fun meeting new friends and working together building our own things, that evolve when we are playing. The world is not ready made for you, so it’s nice and fun to see what we can make ourselves, said Catherine.

The City of Vincent’s Open Space Strategy was approved by Vincent Council in December 2018. An independent audit undertaken for the Strategy highlighted gaps for youth facilities in many neighbourhoods, such as Mount Hawthorn, Leederville and North Perth, with a distinct lack of play spaces and diversity of facilities for older children and teenagers.

The majority of City of Vincent playgrounds are focused towards toddlers and young children. Whilst the skate park in Leederville and the popular Brathwaite Nature Space does offer more challenging play, there is still a big gap in outdoor opportunities tailored to older kids and young people.

“We need more open, creative and challenging play for older kids and we want to be responsive to the ideas that have been put forward by them,” said Mayor Emma Cole.

“Woodville Reserve is the first Pop Up Play and we hope to do more before the end of June. The temporary play spaces will be based on ideas that have been put forward by members of the community, with direct feedback from youth.”

During the Pop Up Play trials, the City of Vincent will be sourcing ideas that have come from the community through the City’s Imagine Vincent consultation, the Public Open Space Strategy engagement, Community Budget Submissions or have been championed through local groups and residents.

“We know from talking with our youth, including our local schools during Imagine Vincent, that there is a demand for free nature play, pump tracks, bike trails and temporary play equipment that could bring more exciting play opportunities to Vincent.”

“The benefit of Pop Up Play is that it is easily adaptable and flexible. It allows us to test out these different ideas from our community and to see what works for young people in Vincent. We can then use these experiences and feedback from young people to help us provide better, more permanent youth facilities for the future,” she said.

To share your thoughts on what kinds of Pop Up Play you would like to see in your neighbourhood visit imagine.vincent.wa.gov.au and have your say or call 9273 6000.

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